Sue Terry

Sue Terry's Biography

'Sweet' Sue Terry travels frequently to South America where she is Artist in Residence at the Jazz Society of Ecuador. In 2014, she collaborated with American film director Ashley Rogers and Venezuelan cinematographer Hernán Salcedo to create a nine-minute documentary short, The Source. The film features her advice to artists of all stripes, and includes stunning shots of Ecuador as well as live music scenes with some of the country's up and coming musicians.

Sweet Sue began her professional music career at the age of 16, playing for church performances and musical theater. She began playing jazz gigs in Hartford, Connecticut while attending the Hartt School of Music, which, at that time, was a traditional music conservatory. Though she was enrolled as a classical clarinetist, her secret agenda was to study with the late jazz legend Jackie McLean, which she did for five years. The Hartt School of Music elected her alumna of the year in 2001.

Sweet Sue first heard jazz music as a child growing up in Connecticut where her father had an extensive record collection, and she listened to WRVR FM non-stop. As a teenager studying with legendary pianist and educator John Mehegan, she mentioned she would like to write a big band arrangement for her high school jazz ensemble. Mehegan bet her an ice cream cone that she could not do it. She won. Since then, Sweet Sue has played and recorded with a variety of notable jazz artists including Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Charli Persip, Peggy Stern, Clifford Jordan, Melba Liston, Hilton Ruiz, Howard Johnson, Tim Price, Walter Bishop, Jr., and Jaki Byard.

She has also performed with jazz VIPs such as Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Wynton Marsalis, Lew Soloff, and Ray Barretto. She has been a jazz soloist with the National Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New York Pops; and has performed worldwide at venues such as The Montreux Jazz Festival; Nice Jazz Festival; Pori Jazz Festival; Northsea Jazz Festival; the Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan; Quasimodo in Berlin, Germany; Marian's Jazzclub in Bern, Switzerland; and Spice of Life in London, United Kingdom. In the United States, she has been a frequent performer at venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.

Her discography currently contains over 40 commercially released albums. She is the author of several music instruction books including the acclaimed Practice Like The Pros. Two of her non-fiction titles are Greatest Hits of The Blog That Ate Brooklyn: Inside the Mind of a Musician (also released as an audiobook) and For The Curious.

Sweet Sue's other passion is for the martial arts. She is a longtime practitioner of Taiji Quan, and is an eight-time USKSF Championship Tournament gold medalist in taiji quan kung fu.

Sue Terry's Gear
Sue Terry